President Donald Trump wasted no time advising the Senate to ignore a Democratic filibuster on his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump advised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to go “nuclear” if Democrats tried to block confirmation for his nomination.
“If we end up with that gridlock I would say, ‘If you can, Mitch, go nuclear.’ Because that would would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was put up to that neglect,” he said. “I would say it’s up to Mitch, but I would say, ‘Go for it.”
The nuclear option was triggered in 2013 by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, forcing through judicial nominations to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Republican leaders have expressed hope that they will not need to use the nuclear option, citing a number of Senate Democrats willing to support the president’s nominee.
Trump appeared pleased with the rollout of his Supreme Court decision and with Gorsuch.
“He’s a terrific person, by the way. I got to know him reasonably well,” Trump said. “He is just a spectacular man … He’s perfect in just about every way.”
Trump made his remarks during a meeting with prominent conservative activists to discuss his nomination.
Full list of attendees, per the White House:
Mr. Morton Blackwell, The Leadership Institute
Mr. Tom Collamore, U.S. Chamber of Commerce — attendance TBD
Ms. Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List
Ms. Juanita D. Duggan, National Federation of Independent Business
Mr. Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association
Mr. Leonard Leo, Federalist Society
Ms. Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America
Mr. Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
Mr. David O’Steen, National Right to Life
Ms. Paula White, New Destiny Christian Center
Ms. Charmaine Yoest, American Values